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Resources for Citizen Science Projects

EPA and Other Federal Resources

  • is an official government website designed to accelerate the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science across the U.S. government. The site provides a portal to three key assets for federal practitioners:
    • a searchable catalog of federally supported citizen science projects
    • a gateway to a federal community of practice to share best practices
    • a toolkit to assist with designing and maintaining projects, including: 
      • Resource Library: The resource library provides a list of all resources in this toolkit which you can browse through by category
      • Case Study Overview: Case studies in this toolkit serve as models and provide success stories and challenges to consider while planning a project
      • How To Step by Step: This toolkit shows five basic process steps for planning, designing and carrying out a crowdsourcing or citizen science project.

  • EPA Air Data provides access to outdoor air quality data collected from state, local and tribal monitoring agencies across the United States.
  • EPA Developer Central provides resources for developers looking to interface with EPA’s Data and APIs.
  • EPA Equipment Loan Programs - citizen scientist groups must apply for the loan, have a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) in place, and provide regular updates and a final report.
    • EPA Region 1has a stormwater toolbox equipment loan program. Contact the Region 1 Citizen Science Coordinator, Robert Hillger at, for information.
    • EPA Region 2 provides equipment for water quality monitoring.  This includes laboratory equipment for pathogen monitoring.  There is also field equipment for monitoring water quality parameters, collecting macroinvertebrates and sampling surface water for microplastics. Contact the Region 2 Citizen Science Coordinator, Rachael Graham at, for information.
  • EPA National Estuary Program is a collaborative, efficient, and adaptable ecosystem-based network of organizations that protects and restores 28 estuaries of national significance.
  • EPA Water Data: Discover how data and tools help EPA protect and restore our waters to ensure that they are drinkable, fishable and swimmable.
  • EPA Wetlands Protection and Restoration has a page on how volunteer monitoring  can protect wetlands.
  • The Corporation for National and Community Service plays a vital role in supporting the American culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility. Our country was built by engaged citizens who gave back to their communities. We are a stronger nation when we all pitch in. Do your part and find a volunteer opportunity in your neighborhood.
  • US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, Executive Branch Developed Resources to Support Implementation, But Guidance Could Better Reflect Leading Practices, in June 2017 reviewing federal guidance for open innovation, including citizen science and crowdsourcing.
  • Water Quality Portal is a cooperative service sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the EPA, and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC). It serves data collected by over 400 state, federal, tribal, and local agencies.

Other EPA Databases and Tools

  • AirNow: Every day the Air Quality Index (AQI) tells you how clean or polluted your outdoor air is, along with associated health effects that may be of concern. The AQI translates air quality data into numbers and colors that help people understand when to take action to protect their health.
  • C-FERST provides information to help users identify environmental issues in their communities, learn about these issues, and explore exposure and risk reduction options.
  • C-LINE is a web-based model that estimates emissions and dispersion of toxic air pollutants for roadways in the U.S.
  • EJ SCREEN is a mapping and screening tool based on nationally consistent data and an approach that combines environmental and demographic indicators in maps and reports.
  • EnviroAtlas interactive tools allow users to discover, analyze, and download data and maps related to ecosystem services, or the benefits people receive from nature.
  • How’s My Waterway? offers a 10 by 10-mile search box through which users can learn the condition of local streams, lakes and other waters anywhere in the US in plain language, and what’s being done. Map and list formats are available.
  • MyEnvironment gathers data from EPA and other resources by your area code – includes MyWater, MyAir, MyHealth, MyEnergy and MyCommunity.

Non-Federal Resources